HEIGHTS OF ABRAHAM
Matlock Bath’s beautiful scenery has been compared to that of Switzerland and, together with the thermal qualities of the water, added to the attraction of the area. In Victorian days facilities started to improve and the visits made by Queen Victoria, in 1832 and 1844, improved its reputation further.
It is a busy little place well stocked with gift shops, cafés and amusements. But its spectacular views are what are most admired, as anyone who has gazed at the view from a good vantage point on either side of the narrow gorge can confirm. It is a popular haunt for serious rock-climbers who test their ability against the sheer rock face of High Tor. A much easier way to climb is to take the cable car up to the Heights of Abraham, named after General Wolfe’s famous assault on Quebec.
Since opening to the public in 1760 people have travelled from all over the world to the Heights of Abraham to explore its underground caverns, wander the woodland paths and enjoy the breathtaking views. When Queen Victoria visited Matlock Bath in 1844, she ascended the Heights of Abraham on a donkey.
Nowadays, visitors usually use the country’s first ever alpine style cable car system, installed in 1984. The comfortable and smooth journey - included in your entry ticket to the Heights of Abraham – carries you from the valley floor to the hillside high above and provides some truly stunning views of the surrounding Peak District.
The Heights of Abraham is the area's oldest attraction. Visitors used to climb the steep paths to the top to enjoy the wonderful views. Now for much less effort and the same reward you can get there by cable car. New style observation cars are now in operation, which provide the latest advance in cable car styling. As well as being more comfortable than before the new cars have bigger windows to make the most of the magnificent views, as you gently glide over the Derwent Valley.
Guided tours of Rutland Cavern and Great Masson Cavern, both part natural and part lead mines, are included in the attractions admission price. The Rutland Cavern is probably the oldest in the area and may have been worked by the Romans. It has several large chambers, a clear water spring known as Jacob's Wishing Well, flourspar and other crystals. The pick marks on the walls indicate that it was entirely worked by hand. Great Masson Cavern further up the hill, follows the line of the Great Rake - a seam of lead that runs for miles.
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HEIGHTS OF ABRAHAM
CABLE CAR TICKETS INCLUDE
PLACES TO EAT
Hungry? Then visit the Hi Café which is open throughout day serving a delicious range of light lunches, snacks and homemade treats. The Summit Bar is also open during busier times and both have outdoor terrace areas with stunning views down the valley.
ADVENTURE PLAY AREAS
Children can let off steam in the two adventure play areas.
The High Falls and Treetops gift shops offer a wide selection of souvenirs. You will also find gifts for friends or a treat for you and your family including rocks, minerals, fossils and jewellery fashioned from semi-precious stones.
THINGS TO SEE
At Who Why What all your questions are answered about the estate’s history, famous people and the construction of the cable car in exhibitions and videos... you can also test your nerve on the cable car emergency vehicle! Then visit the Prospect Tower and put it all into perspective with a panoramic view of the area.
Two guided tours deep within the hillside. In the Masson Pavilion discover how the sea, volcanos and ice shaped the caverns, and then walk underground along the well-lit passages into the Great Masson Cavern itself. In the Great Rutland Cavern-Nestus Mine you can experience what it was like to be a 17th Century lead miner.
Before the introduction of the cable car the way to the summit was on foot. The zig-zag paths that cover the hillside are now tarmaced and make enjoyable walks through the mature woodlands. One will take you down to the start of Great Rutland Cavern tour.
The images used in this feature have been kindly supplied by The Heights of Abraham.
THE DISCOVER DERBYSHIRE AND THE PEAK DISTRICT GUIDE
Provides a wide range of features with heritage trails and detailed countryside walks, through some of the most scenically attractive countryside in the UK.
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